A fishery can be defined as an entity involved in the raising of fish through aquaculture or the harvesting of wild fish in oceans, seas and freshwater. Humans have relied on aquatic resources for sustenance and survival for centuries yet with the advent of improved fishing vessels, techniques, tools, and equipment as well as technology coupled with growing demands for resources, the rate of exploitation has reached unprecedented rates raising fears about the inevitable collapse of aquatic ecosystems. Rapacious techniques such as bottom trawling or use of large nets modify marine ecosystems by physically altering habitats, reducing biodiversity and disrupting food chains. There is also a growing concern that fisheries have reached their global maximum potential as many valuable fish stocks have already been depleted, leading to the exploitation of less valuable fish.
Despite the relative lack of information integrating the health, ecological, and economic impacts of different fish dietary choices, clear and simple guidance is needed to effect...
Marine biodiversity and food securityLast Updated on 2015-02-28 19:05:44
Harvesting of wild fish and shellfish from the oceans provides food to the earth’s population, particularly in the developing world, and is a major contributor to the world economy. In the USA alone, fishing supports an industry worth nearly $50 billion annually. Although fishing commenced very early in human history, it was during the 20th century that its reach and impact spread around the globe and into deep waters, first with the advent of motorized vessels near the turn of the century, and later as a result of widespread availability of cheap oil, refrigeration, and increasingly effective technology. These developments made fishing an intensive global industry, particularly after Word War II. Modern fisheries, including both landings and by-catch, currently consume 24-35% of global marine primary production in the continental shelf and major upwelling areas,... More »
Fisheries and aquacultureLast Updated on 2014-12-07 21:08:51
In 2002 the global production from fishing and aquaculture combined reached about 133 million tonnes. The global yield from capture fisheries is stagnating, but aquaculture has been expanding.
The quantities of fish captured remained stable at about 93 million tonnes per year between 1999 and 2002. China and Peru are leading the top ten of countries with the largest catches. The same countries have remained in the top ten for over a decade.
Oceans and seas provide 90% of the world's fishery catches. During the past decade marine catches brought to land increased slightly compared to the preceding decade. It should be noted that the quantity of marine fish caught and discarded fell by several million tonnes in the same time period. Trends vary greatly across different regions and for different species. The species yielding the largest harvest is the Peruvian... More »
What Is Aquaculture?Last Updated on 2014-12-07 19:28:34
The term aquaculture broadly refers to the cultivation of aquatic organisms in controlled aquatic environments for any commercial, recreational or public purpose. The breeding, rearing and harvesting of plants and animals takes place in all types of water environments including ponds, rivers, lakes, the ocean, and man-made “closed” systems on land.
Aquaculture serves many purposes including:
Food production for human consumption;
Rebuilding of populations of threatened and endangered species;
Wild stock enhancement;
Production of baitfish; and
Fish culture for zoos and aquariums.
It is one of the fastest growing forms of food production in the world. Because harvest from many wild fisheries has peaked globally, aquaculture is widely recognized as an effective way to meet the seafood demands of a growing population.
Using aquaculture... More »
OverfishingLast Updated on 2014-12-07 17:22:32Overfishing is the human act of extracting aquatic (that is, marine and freshwater) fauna from natural water bodies at a rate greater than the reproductive and recruitment functions can replace that extraction. While there is some evidence that localized overfishing may have occurred in prehistoric eras, the bulk of overfishing has taken place in the last 150 years as the human population has expanded greatly and fishing technologies have enabled harvesting of many species at rates not imagined in earlier times. For over a century man's role in the depletion of certain regional fisheries has been noted. A functional definition of overfishing is sometimes given as the reduction in catch per unit effort by fishermen. Typically the concept of overfishing is linked to an individual aquatic species, and this issue is most often discussed within a specific marine or lacustrine province... More »
International Food Security Assessment: 2012-22Last Updated on 2014-10-26 16:56:26
Food security is estimated to improve slightly in 2012 as the number of food-insecure people in the 76 countries covered in this report declines from 814 million in 2011 to 802 million in 2012. The share of the population that is food insecure remains at 24 percent. Over the next decade, the share of the population that is food insecure is projected to decline from 24 percent in 2012 to 21 percent in 2022, but the number of food insecure people is projected to increase by 37 million. Regionally, food insecurity is projected to remain most severe in Sub-Saharan Africa. Food-insecure people are defined as those consuming less than the nutritional target of roughly 2,100 calories per day per person.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Economic Research Service (ERS) has, since the late 1970s, reported annually on food security in a number of developing countries. A key... More »
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